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Daily Manifestation Challenge

And So It Is, Beating Fear with a Stick, Daily Manifestation Challenge

Annoying & Superficial.

October 9, 2012

Did that get your attention?

It got mine.

Earlier today, as I was home with a cold, nursing it so I didn’t have to relive the horror I experienced in Italy with getting sick like a dying dog, I amused myself by playing on the computer and reading. I found a funny E-card (a lot of them are really funny!) and it resonated me with (sadly) so I posted it. I thought it was hysterical.

Here it is:

Anyone who knows me well, knows my slight addiction (okay, not so slight) to my iPhone. Needless to say, I thought it was cute and funny so I shared it on my fanpage on Facebook, which, incidentally says “Jennifer Pastiloff Yoga.”

The irony of this story I am about to tell is not lost on me. Just this morning I was once again fretting that my page with almost 7 thousand “fans” says “Jennifer Pastiloff Yoga” and not just “Jennifer Pastiloff” as if the yoga part limits me. As if it will make me not a real writer, but a wannabe yoga teacher/writer. Once you get over 100 “fans” you can’t change a name. C’est l’avie.

Except I obsess on it. Like it matters.

(It doesn’t. Not really.)

Anyway, I post funny iPhone picture (see above) and a girl who I have never met and who apparently lives in The Netherlands (I told the story in class and by sheer Freudian slip called it Neverlands) posted under it: OMG! You are too annoying and superficial to be a yoga inspiration.

What the what?

You are in my house, woman!

She is on my page. Why even comment? Don’t like it? Ignore it. Don’t like me? Don’t like my page!

I looked her up and her profile had one quote. A Mother Theresa quote on love: “I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love” and her religious views as love and peace written over and over again.

Where is the congruency? 

Of course it made a few things happen inside of me.

1) Question myself.

Until I got how absurd that was. The fact that I was letting a woman (who knows if she is a woman. It could be a fake profile) whom I have never met, determine how I feel about myself.

2) It had me look at where I am not being congruent.

Where I am posting love and peace love and peace love and peace and yet living hate and gossip? It was actually a little gift because I chuckled at her quotes, not because I was making fun of her but because I thought: we all do this. To some degree, we all have discrepancy in our lives. Maybe not that big. Maybe you would never post on someone’s Facebook or the equivalent how annoying and superficial they are. But still.

3) How I defended myself and I NEVER need to do that.

Under the said picture I wrote ‘how important it was for you to have a sense of humor in my world and in my class bla bla bla’. The thing is, I didn’t need to say that. Or think it. I was defending myself to someone who is not in my tribe, who in no way has any bearing on my life, who said something that actually has nothing to do with me.

4) How happy I felt that I was a kind person and that I attract kind people.

After she wrote that I wrote the following on my page:

Find Your Tribe.

You know, the ones that make you feel the most YOU. The ones that lift you up and help you remember who really are. The ones that remind you that a blip in the road is just that, a blip, and not to mistake it for an earthquake and even it were to be an earthquake they’d be there with the Earthquake Emergency Supply Kit. They are the ones that when you walk out of a room, they make you feel like a better person than when you walked in. They are the ones that even if you don’t see them face to face as often as you’d like, you see them heart to heart. You know, that kind of tribe?

She is not in my tribe. Why do we spend time on the people who don’t like us? I certainly can’t be the only one?

So I am happy she wrote that I was superficial and annoying. It made me dig deep.

As far as being a yoga inspiration? She made that up. I never said dem words!

As Wayne Dyer says: If you meet 200 people you will have 200 reputations.

I know who I am.

That’s all that matters.

I will tell you right now who I am if you tell me below. Will you? Start the sentence with I am _____.

Here goes: I am compassionate, empathetic, sloppy, disorganized, witty, perceptive, pretty deaf, someone who loves sleep, wine and coffee, a yoga teacher, inspiring, distracted, a lover of her phone and being overly connected to a fault, loyal, sometimes obsessive, a healer, a connector, a manifester, authentic, nostalgiac, sensitive, moody and a writer.

Where can you own who you are and live with congruency?

Take the challenge. I am. xo, Jen

Poster by SimpleReminders.com. Pre-order their book (which I am in!!): http://www.SimpleReminders.info Subscribe for more: http://www.bryantmcgill.net

Poster by SimpleReminders.com.
Pre-order their book (which I am in!!): http://www.SimpleReminders.info
Subscribe for more: http://www.bryantmcgill.net

Thank you Simplereminders.com for this!

*update: since the writing of this blog, Facebook has indeed changed the name of my page and dropped the Yoga bit. But, at the end of the day, it did not matter. 

Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, among others. Jen’s leading one of her signature retreats to Ojai, Calif. over New Years. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (2 spots left.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

Daily Manifestation Challenge

Daily Manifestation Challenge: Are You Addicted to “Like”?

May 31, 2012

The real question is this: Where can you be honest with yourself? Where can you be the most honest you that you have ever been?

Yesterday I rode my bike, along with my dear friend Laura, to Redondo Beach.

From Santa Monica.

Thank God The Redondo Beach Pier had those awesome fish tacos and pints of beer or I wouldn’t have made it back. ( Not joking.) 34 miles is a long haul, folks. A long haul.

I had a lot of time to think. To just be.

Here is my honesty for the day, my second Confession in the Confession Series. (click to read Confession about sucking my thumb.)

I realized I am addicted to likes. To clicks. 

I am addicted to Like.

Like the song Addicted To Love. Just change it to Like.

I post a blog. And then I check every few minutes to see how it’s doing. Did they like it? Do they like me? ( Who, in the name of God, are “they”?)

Am I good enough?

I am being honest here, so I am breaking down what it really means.

I have become a slave to my phone and computer, so dialed in and over-connected all the time.  Yesterday as I rode all those miles and looked out at the ocean I thought about how great it felt to be off the grid. To not care one way or the other what was going on in the world beyond that moment, there on my bike.

I am being raw and looking deep within the caves of Jennifer that are not to be found on Facebook or Twitter.

It’s not a conscious thing I am talking about. It’s something I realized there on my beach cruiser with the orange basket in front and fishing rod in back; this need for connection and approval to make me feel good about myself.

We all want to be liked. That’s natural. 

The reality? Not everyone will like us.

That’s ok. It’s usually not about us anyway, and, even if it is, it doesn’t matter. It’s their opinion to have, whoever they are.

I was with my private client last week and Bruce Springsteen was in the background singing one of my favorites, “My Hometown.” I looked over at him and asked: Are you a Bruce fan?

Him: Nah.

Me: Really?

So I realized that if you plug in your favorite artist or singer or anyone that you think is the best there is, you will always find someone that says: They suck.

How can you not be a Bruce fan? I thought and was truly baffled.

So there will always be someone that doesn’t like Bruce or Snow Patrol or your favorite band or artist. Helps you get over the fact that not all people will like you, right?

So back to the honesty question. Where can you be really honest with yourself?

A confession, if you will.

Mine is: I am an addict.

My last post on one of the many sites I write for got a hundred plus comments but only a thousand “likes.”

Do you know that I actually spent time thinking about this?

Comparing myself to other people? Wondering why more people hadn’t clicked “like” on something that was so personal, so important to me? Something that I had spent so much time on and which I thought was really good? What if the website didn’t publish me anymore? What if it means something, this only a “thousand likes” business?

And you know what? The what if’s, when you spell them out and look them square in the jaw, end up being small little things that get filed under “Irrelevant” in your Life File, along with getting into a “perfect” yoga pose or being the “perfect” weight.

I caught myself in my own trap.

I have become tethered to something that is, in no way, shape, or form: real.

I have allowed it.

I have become a junkie to people validating me.

It’s easy to happen.

Everything has a like button so how can we start to not feel as if it a personal sign we are wearing?

Like me? Please, please click “like”? Vote for me? “Like” me and I will believe I am good enough and if you don’t like me then I will feel worthless.

It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?

So, now what?

I am honest with it, now what? I am looking at it. I am “being with it” as they say. Now what?

So, here’s what: I shut the computer. I go sit with my husband and have a nice meal and a glass of wine. I let go of any notion that my self worth is connected to how many Facebook fans I have, how many likes I have on a post, how many tweets or pinterests or shmiterests. I let myself sit and be like I am on a bike with not a care in the world except how far away the dang Pier is, with it’s fish tacos and beer.

Where can you be honest with yourself? That’s Today’s Daily Manifestation Challenge or DMC. Come on and take it! Answer below. I know it is scary, but it feels so so good.

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Hearing Loss, Self Image

Who Are You? The DMC: Daily Manifestation Challenge.

May 30, 2012

Yesterday, a girl came up to me before my class at Equinox and told me that my sister Rachel’s blog is her saving grace; that she feels she is on the same journey as my sister. That she is, in fact, a little obsessed with 3 Words for 365. So am I, I thought.

So am I.

I felt proud, happier than if it was my own blog she was talking about (which, due to my hearing loss, I thought she was at first!)

Serendipitous too, as I had just started this guest post for my sister’s blog. It was a gentle nudge from the Universe to get writing.

The past few days I have been in my bed, with the blanket over my ice-pack covered head.

Sound fun?

No, I didn’t think so.

Unless you are a vampire.

I haven’t suffered from one of my migraines since last May. Then BAM! Without warning I got one on Tuesday night.

I felt the panic set in.

It makes it hard to talk. To see. To focus.

I slur a bit.

Like I said: not fun. Unless you’re drunk, then these symptoms might feel a bit more celebratory.

I cancelled my private yoga sessions on Wednesday and Thursday due to how bad I was feeling.

I called Frank Gjata, who has become my life coach and dear friend, and before I knew it, I was lying in the dark, my throbbing head screaming Get off the Effing Phone, while the rest of me was off having a profound life changing moment. (That’s Frank for you, folks.)

What he does.

LCM. Life. Changing. Moments.

He asked me: Why now? Why do you think your migraine is coming back now?

I wanted to yell I don’t know and I don’t care. I just want the pain to go away.

He asked me to describe what I was feeling.

I said: throbbing. All I could get out. One word. Throbbing.

He suggested how perfect that was because it was actually how I was living my life.

On, off.

On, off.

Stop, go.

Stop, go.

Why did he have to be so spot on?

I told him I was feeling guilty that I gave up so much work the last few days. I said ” Who am I to give up $200 an hour jobs? I didn’t even make 200 A DAY when I was waitressing?”

He says: Exactly. Who are you?

There it is. That question.

“Who are you?”

(Just for the record, I hate when things get turned on me.)

I got it. Here we are back to my favorite exercise in my workshop. The “I am ____” exercise.

I realized that I keep myself so busy and run down because there is this mantra running through my head. You know how I love a mantra.

The mantra is: Who am I to ever say no to something?

Who am I to ever allow myself to say No to something?

What a question!

How many times a day do we say yes to things because we don’t feel we deserve to say no? Or, because there might not be another time to say “yes”? Or because the only way we know how to live is to keep ourselves busy all the time? Or because we feel guilty?

The list is endless.

I decided to fill in my “I am ___.”

I am: a successful writer. I am: a loved yoga teacher. I am: financially abundant.

I am: powerful. I am: A connector. I am: healthy. I am: well.

Who are you?

Last week Frank helped me realize how I was speeding through life ( again with the on, off, stop, go) and that helped me stay not present.

In fact, I got a speeding ticket on my way to his house. Just for fun. So I had proof I was speeding.

It wasn’t that fun, to be honest. I cried.

He also helped me get clear on how my hearing loss, “my not being able to hear” was related to my “not being able to be here.”

I hope this doesn’t sound too airy fairy, too woo-woo.

But the reality is, I don’t care if it does.

I am: someone who is independent of the good opinion of other people.

Is my migraine gone? Mostly. I wouldn’t be able to write if it was fully with me. There is enough of a remnant though for me to remember who I am.

Enough of a subtle pulsing and slight nausea to have me stop and take a breath. To have me pause and ask myself “Do I want to say yes to this next thing?”

Because the truth is: I get to choose.

Somewhere along the line I forgot that I get to choose who I am.

I forgot who I was and thought I was someone who would always be broke and who always had to say yes to any and every job or offer that came my way.

I forgot that I am worth it, and I get to take care of myself, especially when I am not feeling well. Especially when I am laying in a dark cell with ice over my face. Especially then.

Keep going, don’t stop, keep pushing, it’s never enough.

These mantras are broken and no longer serve me so I am throwing them away with my migraine if you don’t mind.

I would love to hear what your mantra is.

Just who do you think you are?

Sorry it’s been so long since a DMC was out, folks! In the comment section below, answer the question: Who Are You?

***This originally appeared in my favorite blog 3wordsfor365.

Contests & Giveaways, Daily Manifestation Challenge

Challenge & Giveaway.

May 4, 2012

My latest post is up on Positively Positive.

It is my favorite site, indeed, and I am humbled to be a part of it.

You may recognize the post from my own blog but it was so popular they shared it on Positively Positive.

Here is the link http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/05/04/challenge-what-can-you-re-commit-to-in-your-own-life/

Here is the challenge: Click on link and leave a comment on actual article. I will pick 3 comments that touch me and send each of you a Manifestation t-shirt and bracelet or give you a spot at my next Manifestation Workshop in your city.

I think it is important that we remember that every day, in fact every single breath, we have the choice to re-commit and re-fall in love.

Please leave comment on actual Positively Positive post and not here.

I am re-commiting to being my best self and my most authentic and honest self.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/05/04/challenge-what-can-you-re-commit-to-in-your-own-life/

 

click on pic to read post and leave your comment.

Daily Manifestation Challenge

What Do You Do When You Feel __________?

April 24, 2012

What to do when you feel __________ ? (put anything in the blank.)

Do You

A) Ignore the feeling and pretend it isn’t part of you. Stuff it down. Bury it.

B) Honor all parts of YOU?

B! That’s what you do.

B as in Be.

Honor: the light parts, the sad parts, the parts that want to stay in bed on a grey day like today, the parts that feel like you’re better than you were yesterday and the parts that feel like you’ve slipped back a notch or two. Honor the parts that feel divine and the parts that need watering, the parts that do yoga and the parts that don’t.

Honor the loud parts and the quiet parts. Honor the parts of you that have dance parties and the parts that cannot hear the music.

Honor the generous parts and the part that feels a little jealous. Honor the banged up knee, the shoulder with tendonitis, the knee that has just been replaced and the hamstrings that are as open as when you were four. Or not.

Either way.

It’s all you. Honor it all.

Today, I felt kind of blue. In fact, the past few days I have felt bleh. 

I feel guilty when I get like this. I want to stay in my bed and not talk to anyone and not say the words downward dog or vinyasa or plank. I feel guilty because I feel like I should not feel this way.

Ah, that nasty should word.

And why shouldn’t I? Where did I decide that?

I am going to honor all the parts of me. The parts that don’t feel like talking today or doing yoga or putting on clothes, because they are parts of me. They are all a part of Jen too. Maybe not the part I often show the world, but they are me.

There are parts of me and without those parts I wouldn’t have this whole of me.

I wouldn’t be as complete a me.

I wouldn’t be as authentic a me.

I wouldn’t be as goofballl a me (as my husband calls me, and I proudly wear as a badge.)

Today what part of you will you honor?

Fill in the blank.

Today I am honoring my ______________.

Daily Manifestation Challenge

I Take Responsibility For _______. The DMC is Back! Daily Manifestation Challenge by Jen Pastiloff.

April 4, 2012

In my Manifestation Workshops I ask the people in the room to do a lot of things.

I ask them to sing.

To dance.

To twist.

To downdog.

To be silly.

To write.

One of the things I have them write is a sentence that begins with I take responsibility for ________. They then finish the sentence and keep writing for a few minutes.

The great thing about this journaling is that because I have gotten them hot and sweaty and taken them to the edge in their yoga practice, their writing is more raw, less  thought out as it were, less inhibited. More truth-filled.

They get more by thinking less.

Oh, the irony. The sweet irony.

I ask them how many times they keep a journal by their mat in yoga class. Most said never. It’s like taking a journal with you into your dreams.

So they finish this sentence I take responsibility for ________. On Sunday, in NYC at Pure Yoga, I looked around at my packed workshop as they were writing this portion and I noticed all the faces got dark as if a cloud of worry and guilt landed between their eyebrows and started to rain heavy thoughts.

I suggested to the room Don’t forget to take responsibility for your awesomeness too.

The room lit up. The weather changed.

It was as, all at once, they all thought Oh yea, I am awesome! I forget sometimes.

We all do. We are human. Hopefully.

Sometimes these questions lead us to the corners of our souls, and that is fine. We need to look there every once in a while and clean it out. But I would like to invite you all to go to the light places. The places where you are having a dance party (we do that in my workshop as well.) The places were you are your best self.

Your highest self.

Today’s DMC, or Daily Manifestation Challenge is this: What can you take responsibility for in your own life? In the comment section below, start yours with: I take responsibility for ______________.

Also, take a look at where you are taking responsibility for what is not yours. For example, I no longer take responsibility for my dad dying. Not mine. I give it back.

Are you giving someone else responsibilities that aren’t theirs? How about this one: He makes me feel so bad about myself. My last relationship before I met my husband was this kind. The kind where I gave him all the power, blame and responsibility. I was unhappy all the time. I mean, I must’ve been if I refer to that time as The Dark Years.

Last night in class it was our mantra. Whenever the hands come to prayer my students silently said ” I take responsibility for __________.” They filled in the blank with their own private universe.

The hands came to prayer at least 50 times so my hope is that a sort of rewiring occurs. My hope is that the cable has been re-installed, the lights came back on, the rent got paid. My hope is that they walk out of the room and into their homes with that new thought in their mind which, in turn, will shift their lives, in small or not so subtle ways.

I gave out my Manifestation bracelets yesterday in class. I told my students to look at that blue band and remember what they can take responsibility for.

One of my favorite students, a handsome older man who is a grandfather (he’s the one who told me I give mini semi-Jewish church-like sermons) sent me this email last night:

Dear Jen, The bracelet is already working. I realized that I manifest to myself regret and sorrow.

So the bracelet reminds me to move away from that.

Also, the taking responsibility idea — very useful. Hard to do but necessary and

uplifting.

Where do you keep coming up with all this good stuff?


What can you take responsibility for today?

I take responsibility for how far I have come in 3 years.

I take responsibility for my own happiness.

I take responsibility for my choices.

I take responsibility for my creativity.

I take responsibility for my chaos.

I take responsibility for my kindness.

I take responsibility for the people I chosen to have in my life.

I take responsibility for the powerful connector that I am and the connections I make with people.

I take responsibility for my procrastination.

I take responsibility for my health.

Now it’s your turn.

The Daily Manifestation Challenge is back. Manifesting our best selves one laugh a time.  One thought a time. One breath at a time.

I take responsibility for getting invited by Oprah's people to be at Oprah on Monday in NYC. I made it happen. Bam!

Love yourself, Accept, Forgive and.... Take Responsibility!
My dear friend Karen Salmansohn made this poster. She is incredible. Am reading her book "Bounce Back" right now and it is life changing! Check her out at www.notsalmon.com

Daily Manifestation Challenge

WWKD? The DMC is Back!

March 18, 2012

Daily Manifestation Challenge: WWKD?

Not to be confused with WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? 

(Although I recently was told that my “slightly Jewish, yogic mini sermons in yoga church were quite enjoyable.”)

WWKD: What Would Kindness Do?

That’s right, Kindness.

(Although apparently Jesus was very kind, so, I suppose interchangeable. I will not go into religious debate here but suffice to say, this Jew has faith in all. And above all, kindness.)

The  theme of classes this week is Kindness. In fact, this week is dubbed: ‘Project Kindness’. 

The mantra this week, when the hands come to prayer is: I am Kind.

And in parentheses (especially to myself.)

And if you have seen the movie The Help you will be reminded of this scene indeed:

(“I is Kind. I is Smart. I is Important.” Yup.)

During Project Kindness Week I have asked my tribe these questions:

1) What can you do to be kinder ‘out there’?

2) What can you do to be kinder in here, as in, to yourself?

Turns out, when I asked them, it was tougher to be kind to themselves.

Oye.

I get it.

I still struggle with it at times. It’s like an old demon I have to keep at bay. I keep a bat by my bed. (Well, really my husband keeps a golf club by his side but I took poetic license.)

“You’ve gained weight, Jen.” 

“You’re lazy Jen.”

Those are just two examples of the old broken tapes that tempt to play in my mind even though I have upgraded to an mp3 player and they are like old cassettes or 8 tracks. They are old and unkind words that I know well and used to feel as comfortable as breath on glass.

Not so much anymore, but I won’t lie to you. Not here. They hover at the edges of my kind self and threaten to pounce when I am tired or overworked or my friend has just died.

OMG! That describes my last week. 

Well, look at that.

So I decided to take the bull by the horns and show him what kindness looks like. Eye to eye. I decided to man-up.

Or woman.

Whatever.

Kindness is not very discerning.

It goes where needed and wanted.

So I asked my students, and now you, my readers: What Would Kindness Do?

Before every breath you take. Before every pose you attempt in class. Before you speak.  Before you cut someone off in traffic. Before you post on Facebook. Before you do or be.

Pause and ask yourself this: WWKD?

I would love to hear below what you can do to be a kinder person? To yourself? In the world? To a stranger?

I dared my students to buy a coffee for the person in line behind them at the coffee shop. Will you take that dare?

I have never done this but I think it would make you feel good and the person you are buying it for. And, the barista and the cashier and the person at the end of the line and the wife of the guy you bought the latte for because when he tells her the story she will be reminded that “yes, yes there are kind people still out there” even though she may have just gotten laid off.

You see how it works? Let’s do this.

Let’s create a domino effect.

How can you be better than you were before?

I cannot control if you are kind or not but I will be damned if I am not the kindest person I know. That’s the thing I can control.

I will start by adding my own comment and you can follow suit.

What would kindness do? Kindness would send a gift card to the woman I know through mutual friends whose little boy was killed last week by a car (at age 3) and she was left with 3 other kids, one with special needs. Kindess would send her a gift card for a grocery store.

Kindness would say a silent prayer for the guy I saw standing at the entrance to the freeway with a sign that said “Smile”.

Kindess, as my friend Frank said, would hang out with other kind people.

Kindness would be ok with the fact that I have been in my pajamas most of day doing absolutely nothing.

Kindess would listen more.

Kindess would tell all that I love that I indeed love them.

I love you.

And then there’s always Star Trek……

WWKD

What would Kirk do?

Reference to the infamous Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the starship Enterprise on the television series Star Trek and his creative solutions to seemingly impossible situations, problems, and interpersonal impasses.

WWKD suggests the solution to a problem lies in the question of “what would Captain Kirk do in my situation?”

*****************
Jennifer Pastiloff will be teaching at the Tadasana International Yoga & Music Festival over Earth Day weekend on the beach in Santa Monica, CA, April 20– 22. Click here to check out the festival website and purchase tickets. Enter the code Pastiloff for a $50 discount! (Please note that discount codes expire April 1.)

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Delight

Your Favorite Memory. The DMC.

February 19, 2012

Dear Manifesters, today’s DMC is a sweet one that came to me after I updated my Facebook last night and asked people “What is your favorite memory?”

My last retreat to Mexico is popping into my mind as the greatest one for me. It is tied with Good Morning America filming my birthday karaoke class and my nephew Blaise being in my arms as my friend Annabel gave a speech at my wedding. Also tied with New Year’s Day at my friends’ house in London as we sang and donned hats for a hat party and didn’t move from the kitchen all day.

My wedding at Yogaco ( cancelled class, Red cross sponsored and we gave all money to Haiti earthquake relief.)

Can you tell how happy I was? Holding onto my friend Cameron Mathison (GMA correspondent) as GMA filmed my karaoke class on my birthday!

Today’s DMC is really just meant to be a collage. A collage of your favorite memories. Below, write down what your favorite memories are. The top 3 even. I cannot wait to see them all. Together. Floating on the same page.

Having lost my dad at such a young age, I have been fairly obsessed with the idea of memory for a long time. In fact, here are a few lines from a poem I wrote 8 years ago:

We never know where we will find our history,

where we will discover what has formed us,

What we will find while farming tomatoes.

Exhuming beauty from the soil, excavating remains.

The unearthing of things long forgotten.

The source of the blue-green jade used by the Olmec remains a mystery,

As most things of beauty often will. 

You carve from clay-

The pounding of it, the pulverizing,

This creation and inevitable destruction of matter.

 

You are a sculptor.

This process as inevitable as any ritual-

Like watching women pound acorns with oblong rocks.

Holes the size of nickels created by the repetition,

The repeated impact of stone against stone.

I think of you sculpting red clay into things of mythic beauty-

Then letting it dry and crushing it into the earth, to be reshaped.

The repetition of this, the rebuilding.

This natural desire towards achievement.

What turns into memory? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I find it interesting which memories stick in our minds. Which memories morph so they no longer represent what actually happened but what we need to remember it as so. Which things do not even make it to memory status. Why should some memory be so lucky and others fall into a dark corner of the mind, into an abyss of thought and sound and things that happened to us when we were babies?

The way some memories stay strong is by sharing them. By retelling them. The fact is, you can never ever go back into the past, but you can tap into that magic again by sharing and letting yourself feel what it felt like the first time. Maybe the memory makes you feel even better, in fact?

I can’t wait to read your favorite memories below.

I am fascinated by how one moment we are living in it and the next it is living in our minds. Forever.

I think one of the great ways of keeping memories alive is by sharing them. Also, by pictures (hence my obsession also with photographs.)

(Click here to watch me on Good Morning America. Truly one of the my favorite moments of all time. My face hurt from laughing after this day. A lot.)

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/year-fitness-trends-15233963

Lastly, I will leave you with an excerpt from Brandi Mayo, an amazing girl who attended my beloved Mexico retreat. She wrote a letter to the attendees in an effort to not have our magic fade. To keep the memory alive, as they say.

You will see why, in fact, it is my favorite memory:

1) I am incredibly blessed. Specifically, I am incredibly blessed that I get to take Jen’s classes and am reminded that the magic of what conspired in Xinalani was real. Over the past two weeks I have found myself on this incredible emotional roller coaster of highs and lows replaying the week over and over again wondering if the “magic” was real – wondering how I integrate that “magic” into “real life” where most people walk around with a solid metal jacket of fear and judgment. Every time I take Jen’s class, I am taken back to that safe place, where I allowed myself to be silly – to not take myself so seriously – something for which I am very adept. Having that safe place in my own backyard, every time I take Jen’s class I leave with that same feeling of lightness I felt in Xinalani, and a huge smile on my face. As I walk back to my apartment or grab a starbuck I find myself smiling at everyone, and I have come to notice that smile is so incredibly powerful. I see it transform stranger’s faces as I look them in the eye and give them a huge smile for no apparent reason. I see that solid metal jacket of fear and judgment start to melt away. That is how the magic is integrated.

2) The magic was and is real! When I have told my friends and family, I have started the story by explaining that a group of 13 “nearly-complete strangers” came together and left fear and judgment at the door. I’m coming to believe this is the “magic” ingredient of what conspired at Xinalani. We all met each other at the Corner of Fearlessness and Love, and just as Jen explained in a recent blog post, the only way we could have “fallen in love” with each other, could only have happened by falling in love with ourselves first. I truly believe that happened because we each faced our own personal fears in the face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please feel free to go into detail and be poetic and grand and silly and personal. It’s what makes us human. This sharing of our stories. This showing the world the things that makes us come alive.

The things and people that make us smile.

GO! Share your favorite memory/memories below. 

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Self Image

Courage Part 2: The Courage to Love Myself. The DMC.

February 15, 2012

Courage has been such a powerful theme this week in my classes that I felt the need to talk about it again. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day so I made the theme of “courage” a bit more specific.

On Valentine’s Day, class was titled ” The Courage to Love Myself.”

I saw people squeam (not sure if this is an actual word but it feels apropos.)

I use mantras in my class. When the hands come together in prayer, as they do so often in my yoga classes, you recite a silent mantra. Yesterday’s was ” I love myself.”

I saw people turn red and fidget. Not everyone of course. But the majority got uncomfortable.

Why?

We are generally taught that we don’t say that. Then, as we get older, we read self- help books and go to therapy to learn how to say that very thing. A conundrum to say the least.

I told my class not to confuse the mantra with ” I love myself more than _____” or ” I am better than ______”. Finding that love within ourselves so we can go out and shine our light, so we can, in turn, love others; that is what the mantra is about. Going back to Brene Brown, it is the courage to love ourselves with all our imperfections. The courage to be imperfect.

I opened the mirrors at Equinox. Something I NEVER do. I had everyone turn and face the mirror in a seated meditation. They were just to stare at themselves in the mirror and meditate on loving themselves, the highest part of themselves. And also the imperfect parts of themselves. All of themselves. And yes, I played Whitney Houston’s  “I will always love you”. 

To say it was powerful would be an understatement.

I will let you do it on your own to see what it was like, except, imagine 40 sweaty bodies sitting around you. I chose that song because yes, Whitney Houston passed away on Saturday evening and it can’t be lost on anyone that what she was singing about in so many of her songs, that very self-love, eluded her.

Sure, it was heartbreaking to hear her belt out: Bittersweet memories, that is all I’m taking with me. So, goodbye. Please, don’t cry.We both know I’m not what you, you need. 

I thought it not only a gorgeous song and memory of Whitney, but a profound reminder of just how imperative it is, that no matter what, at all costs, we must love ourselves.

Look at the alternative.

I think of my own father. My father who was beloved to so many and yet failed to love himself deeply. I won’t go into detail here as I am writing a book, but suffice to say, self-abuse is what ended his life at such a young age.

If I could go back in time, which as you know if one of my great fantasies, I would go back as I am now, a teacher who creates a space for people to feel really good about themselves, who encourages them to let go of what is no longer serving them and mostly to laugh at themselves more often. I would remind my father of all the people who love him and who he is about to leave behind. I would beg him.

I would re-love him until he got it.

But the truth is, it may not make a difference.

my dad and I in Pennsauken, NJ

Say I did have a time travel machine and I did go back, he may still do the same things he did in 1983.

The fact is, and the facts are very very important here, the fact is, that it starts within ourselves. We cannot try to grasp air in order to turn it into something solid you can use to live inside. We absolutely cannot poison our minds with venom and then blow kisses. We cannot expect to give away what we lack ourselves. 

I tried. It does not work.

Facts are important and they are something we often try and change. The fact is my dad died at age 38. The fact is it in 2012. The fact is I went to NYU. The fact is my nephew has Prader Willi Syndrome. The fact is I live in Santa Monica. We may have opinions but facts are facts.

So look in the mirror. That is today’s Daily Manifestation Challenge. Say ” I love myself.”

Make it a fact.

Say: “I love myself even though _______ or despite _________.”

I asked my students last night how it made them feel, physiologically and emotionally when they said it to themselves. I know I feel a little corny, my heart races and I get red.

My question is: Why?

Why is it so uncomfortable.

I am bringing it way back into vogue, way into fashion and very very trendy to love ourselves.

Declare it below.

Say it until you mean it.

I love you.

Jen xo

I will leave you with the closing line’s of one of my favorite poems called “The Visitor” by Mary Oliver.

in which at last
I saw what a child must love, 
I saw what love might have done
had we loved in time.

Daily Manifestation Challenge

Courage. The DMC.

February 13, 2012

The theme of classes this week is Courage so I thought I would start this dreary Monday off with a Daily Manifestation Challenge about courage.

I have a temporary tattoo on my forearm that says COURAGE. It’s called a Manifestation Tattoo. Can you believe that?

( Serendipity, right?) They are made by a company called Conscious Ink.

Conscious Ink Manifestation tattoos. A company after my own heart!

I started thinking a lot about courage, about what it really meant after I watched Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. If you have not seen it, stop what you are doing and watch NOW.

Brene says “Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection, and — this was the hard part — as a result of authenticity, they were willing to let go of who they thought they should bein order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection.”

There it is. The courage to be imperfect.

I was telling my class on Saturday just before I had them write for 3 minutes straight about courage, that I think people grossly underestimate themselves when it comes to courage. You do not have to jump from a plane with a parachute to be courageous.

I look at the people on my last retreat. One girl came all the way from Amsterdam, alone. All the way to Mexico with a group she didn’t know, having never done yoga in her life and leaving her children back home. That’s courage to me, in my little Jen Book Of Courage. And you know, she had the courage to be imperfect and ask for private help from me with the poses. She had the courage to sit out and watch at times. She had the courage to make new friends and be vulnerable. My sister had the courage to leave two kids at home (one who has special needs and a very strict regimen) and  take a week just for herself. Something she had never ever done in her life.

Today, she is signing up for a yoga teacher training in Atlanta after allowing herself that week retreat in Mexico, that was a gift just for her. She connected to what inspired her and renewed her sense of courage and came home ready to take on the world.

It took courage for me to admit my hearing loss. At first, I was mortified and felt less than a human being. I was afraid I would be alone in the world on an island of silence in a sea of noise.

I started to tell the story of who I was with my own heart and much to my delight, I ended up inspiring people and encouraging others to be vulnerable and open.

It took courage for me to talk openly about my history with a severe eating disorder. It also held me accountable.

It even took courage to start my Karaoke Yoga Classes. To get up there and sing badly and have no self consciousness so I could encourage them to do the same.

When my dad died I told myself not to cry. I held it in for years. I literally would bit my lip and say “Don’t cry. Be strong. Be courageous.”

I was 8.

Unfortunately I thought that was the courageous thing to do. To be brave like an adult and hold it in and move on and get on with my life. To not be affected and most certainly never ever be vulnerable. Especially not in front of other people. Gasp!

It took many years for me to develop the courage to show emotion in front of other people. I had a very hard time as an actor being vulnerable or crying because of all the years I spent stifling that part of me. It was like a piece had broken and the clock was missing a second hand, the doll had lost it’s head, the flower was without it’s color.

Once I finally opened up I realized that it was my courage and that very vulnerability which drew others to me, and get this, which allowed me to make money. The thing i had stifled and been ashamed of, was now my source of income and my bliss. Is it my bliss not being able to hear well? No way!

It is my bliss being able to share and talk and teach and take people on a journey where they can discover what courage means for them.

A woman came up to me Thursday after my Equinox class who told me she just signed up to go back to school so she could become a clinical psychologist. She is 60. That, Dear Manifesters, is what courage also looks like.

Doing something that society may have told you that you are too old for. Or too young for. Doing something because it is what you want to do rather than what anyone else asks of you. That is not to say we act purely from our own needs all the time with no consideration for others or our family. It is to say that we must do what we feel is our dharma, or what makes us come alive despite what may seem like a very valid excuse as not to do that very thing.

Here are some suggestions as to how you can comment below:

It took courage for me to __________ despite ____________.

I have the courage to say “I love __________.”

When ________ happened I found I had courage I didn’t know I had.

I have the courage to ask for help with ________________.

I have the courage to admit to myself that I really want ______________.

I have the courage to accept ___________________.

I have the courage to forgive _______________.

I have the courage to go after my dream of ___________.

Lions and Tiger and Bears. Oh My,

Jen

Jennifer Pastiloff is a writer based in Los Angeles. She is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Jen will be leading a Retreat in Costa Rica at the end of March (204) and her annual retreat to Tuscany is in July 2014. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this post to understand what her retreats are like. Check out her site jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Jen and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. `

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Owning It!

Keep on Keepin’ on. The DMC.

January 6, 2012

Dear Manifesters, how I have missed you and your comments to the Challenges!

It’s been a while since a Daily Manifestation Challenge (DMC) as I was busy in London and filming Good Morning America and the holidays (oh, life is rough, life is rough).

I hope you have enjoyed the Manifestation Q&A Series so far. It’s only getting more and more exciting. Next month Wayne Dyer is posting on my site. My dream come true! He is the reason I call my company “Manifestation Yoga.” I have manifested one of my biggest dreams in 2011 (GMA) and now this in 2012!

Today’s DMC is based on a status update I posted on my Facebook 2 days ago since it got a lot of attention. Here it is:

“I commend anyone who is “putting themselves out there”. Whatever way you are doing it: Bravo! It is not always easy and often scary and sometimes met with criticism, but trust me…. keep on! keep on! I bow to you.”

Today’s Challenge is this: Can you keep keepin’ on?

In the comment section below tell us in what way you plan to keep on trekking. To keep on going. To never, never , never give up.

As Tom Petty says, “I Won’t Back Down” ( I play this song a lot in my classes.)

Take nothing personally.

I am going to give you an example.

Here I am putting myself out there daily.

Being very open and honest with people and laughing at myself on a daily basis. Talking about things like loss, my recovery from an eating disorder, my hearing loss etc. And excuse my language, but busting my ass 7 days a week teaching yoga and hustling, as it were. Yes, hustling. Teaching yoga to kids for free who have special needs like Down’s Syndrome, Autism, PWS, Cerebral Palsy etc. Anyway, what I do, how I roll. You get it.

So here I am fully exposed, putting myself out there, taking risks left and right. 

Sometimes falling but always, always getting back up again.

And would you believe there is someone with such a poisonous attitude toward me that they find every single thing I write, no matter what website or magazine, and post horrible hateful things about me? Who sends me mean emails? Who threatens me?

Do I stop writing? Nope. I write more. I write louder.

I know who this person even. Yikes! You might think it makes it a tad more difficult in a sense to “not take it personal”. To keep on. Especially with the knowledge I have.

And yet, that is what I do.

You might ask yourself: Self, how do you not take something personally when someone whom you used to be close with is attacking you for no apparent reason?

And you may have to whip out some self-help books to remember this one fact:

It’s not about you.

Its. Not. About. You.

So today, can you keep keepin’ on? Even if someone is slandering you on the internet? Even if you feel fat or broke? Even if you are tired or heartbroken or your mom just died? Even if you don’t “feel” like keepin’ on?

I know it ain’t easy.

But just do it. I bow to you.

We all bow to you.

This is why I have created this community website, this Daily Challenge. To keep coming back to this site and be reminded that although there may be bumps in the road, and although at times it may seem difficult, you must know this one thing: The Universe has got your back.

The amazing Karen Salmansohn, my greatest muse did this amazing poster. notsalmon.com

You keep me going, Tribe.

You with me?

@ManifestYogaJen

Daily Manifestation Challenge

Mean People Suck. The DMC. Daily Manifestation Challenge.

December 19, 2011

Today’s DMC, or Daily Manifestation Challenge is about Kindness.

I have had so much kindness displayed to me in my life.

For this I am eternally grateful.

While I was still waitressing at the Newsroom, 5 years ago, my regulars, The Simons, came in for lunch as usual. I was upset and they noticed. My nephew Blaise had just been born in Atlanta and there were major complications. He was in Intensive Care (NICU) and was having his brain scanned. I was crying as I was taking their order for Arnold Palmers. I had no money to fly there, I was scared. I got their iced tea-lemonades and came back.

They told me they were sending me to Atlanta.

They did.

I will never forget that act of kindness.

Now that is a big example, but there are lots of small ones. Every time I go in my bank, the tellers all know my name and say hello. It’s like Cheers. Small acts of kindness like this are not small to me at all.

They keep me going.

So back to mean people. Yea, they pretty much suck. And kind people pretty much rule.

And, yes I know that their lack of kindness is coming from a deep well of unhappiness or insecurity or tiredness or because someone else was just lousy to them. So here is my advice to them: take a deep breath in, bite the inside of your cheek if you have to, but, under no circumstances, should you do or say something to tear someone down or to try and make them feel less than.

So what I decided is that to make up for every person who is less than kind I will be extra kind. Take today’s DMC with me! It feels good. Be kind for no reason. Be kind to a homeless person. Be kind to the person in the car next to you. Be kind with your thoughts. Be kind to yourself.

That, Dear Manifesters, is the essence of yoga to me. 

II.33 Vitarkabadhane Pratipaksabhavanam

“In the face of negativity, one should cultivate the opposite view.”


So yea, mean people may suck a little tiny bit.
There may be a moment when you feel like they have sucked the life out of you but you will get back up, with a smile and you will go do something nice for someone or yourself. You will forget about anything else. Your kindness, whether it was given or received, will overpower anything perceived as meanness.
The bottom line really is this anyway isn’t it? If we are to take nothing personally then even “meanness” should go unnoticed.
Yea, I am working on it too.
So today let’s kill ’em with kindness.
Oh, and PS, If you are of the “meanies”, here’s a little secret: It is way easier to be kind than mean. And it makes you look cuter!
Keep Kindly Manifesting your life,
one laugh and one SMILE at a time
MUST WATCH THIS KINDnESS ViDEO & SHARE

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Video

I Can!

December 18, 2011

 

 

 

This was my Status Update from Facebook yesterday:

Jennifer Pastiloff Yoga
I am just going to declare it.
Things I am manifesting for 2012.
~ Giving a TED talk.
~Being on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show show talking about Prader Willi Syndrome and making lemonade when life gives you lemons.
~ Being a contributor for Oprah Winfrey magazine
~Raising $500,000 at least for The Foundation for Prader-Willi Researchby selling my Manifestaion t-shirts and bracelets and through my retreats/fundraisers etc.
~My blog Manifestation Station www.manifestationyoga.com) having 1 million subscribers. And awesome featured guest posters.
~ Selling my book
~ being on Modern Familyas I teach Cam yoga. I can teach the rest but it must be Cam especially. ( Eric Stonestreet)
~ Joining Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (my mentor) on his tour to at least one city. And having him write a “blurb” for my book since he was my inspiration.
Gifts And Miracles Everyday: GAME ~ Free Yoga for Kids w/ Special Needs (my seva project) becomes an official non-profit and has volunteers in at least 5 cities
~Living outside of my comfort zone more often with more humor

~~~~

Thanks to all my students who shouted ” I can!” in class while we were in boat pose!

Daily Manifestation Challenge, Trust

Let It Be. The DMC.

December 5, 2011

By now, if you have been to my yoga classes, you know of my love of the 3-word-sentence.

Examples: I love you.

No Big Deal.

Let It Be.

Lean On Me.

It’s just yoga.

Give Me Money.

Ok, the last one is a joke but I am indeed a fan of the brevity and the power of such sentences. (Feel free to add your own to my list.)

In fact my upcoming tattoo is going to say, in black lettering, NBD. No Big Deal.

I am just going to hold up my wrist when I need a reminder myself or when a student is getting upset in class when they can’t get into a crow pose.

My four friends from England have a great song called “Let It Be.” One of my favorites.

I remember when I heard my teacher Wayne Dyer speak a couple years ago. He brought up this notion. This notion of simply letting it be. I remember getting goosebumps (this happens when something resonates with me.)

Up until that point, I had generally had a hard time letting things be. At that moment, as Wayne was up there speaking, I realized why.

I lacked Trust.

Trust is the bridge between all things, My Dear Sweet Manifesters.

I understand why I lacked trust. I do. And yet, at that point, as Wayne stood on stage humming the tune to “Let It Be” I realized that although I understood the why as far as my lack of trust was concerned, I would no longer use that why as my reason for the way the life was unfolding for me.

In order to simply let it be, you must have a great deal of trust. Or Heck, at least a little.

Trust in the way the Universe is unfolding, trust in your relationships, in yourself, in whatever it may be. If you are missing that trust, then how in the name of The Beatles can you simply let things BE.

Without trust, you will feel the need to fight and push and pull. 

I know. I lived this way for a long time.

Yes, my dad died at a young age and I assumed that things would be taken away from me so I did not trust anything or anyone for a long time.

That, my friends, gets old. 

It gets old very fast.

So today’s DMC, as well as the theme for my yoga classes is this: Where can you let it be in your own life? Where can you stop fighting or worrying or trying so hard? Or, in other words: where can you trust more? Where can you own your knowing and abandon your doubt? Write it down in the comment section below.

Man, those 4 dudes from Liverpool where on to something.

So is Wayne Dyer. 

So am I.

So are YOU.

Letting It Be,

Jen (@manifestyogajen on twitter)

If you come to class tonight or tomorrow this will be the mantra. Let it Be.

Anytime the hands come together in prayer you will silently mouth those words. And hopefully, if my plan works, you will begin to create new thought patterns and belief systems and habits. Like lettin’ it be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let it Be by John Lennon and Paul Mccartney
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

~~~~

Apparently my sister has a love of three word sentences as well since her site is called 3 Words For 365. It’s on! http://3wordsfor365.wordpress.com/